Today's featured article is by Nnaumrata Arora, who has been a part of our Charter for Compassion family for the last four years. Living in Bengaluru, Karnataka, India, Nnaumrata is a Community Weaver, Founder and Lead Consultant at Enactive Systems. She has been an integral part of the work in the Charter's Women and Girls sector. With warm reagrds, Marilyn Turkovich.
Ever have the feeling that you are stuck in time? It happens most often when we want to hold on to memories of dear ones who are no longer with us, or when we refuse to let go of situations that have made us feel good about ourselves. Some of us carry the past with us, refusing to let go of something that might be detrimental for us to cling to and sometimes, refusing to let go of the glory that was. We carry with us older versions of ourselves that are no longer a part of us as our safety net, not knowing that it is a boulder that slows us down and holds us back from flying into the future. Our present is enslaved, and we belong to our past, completely missing the precious gifts that life has in store for us.
On the other hand, when we tie our lives to a future that we wish for, to the dream that we so desperately wish would come true, we continue to engage our present moments in the realization of that vision, only to feel a deep sense of void when we have achieved what we were striving for. When we deploy our stream of present moment consciousness in the service of what is yet to come, we belong to our future.
In either case, whether we belong to the past or to the future, we always miss being in the present. We tether our heart-mind to that which does not exist and try in vain to carry on somehow, feeling the stress of hanging on to a heaviness that has mistakenly plonked itself upon us. The Buddha talked of the middle way. While it has many interpretations, we apply it to understand the idea of belonging to the present, treating the present as a point in the continuum of time.
Our first belonging is to ourselves, and we exist only in the present moment. This does not mean that we erase our past from our memory and do not work towards our goals. It simply means this - 'be like the tree'. We can stand firmly on the ground with our roots (our past and heritage that nourishes us), aim for the sky (have an eye on the future) and relish each moment's emergence with all our senses (new branches, leaves, flowers, fruits, and the fragrance). By engaging with life in such a way and holding each moment with mindfulness, we bring ourselves to a space of belonging to the present. In this mode, we do not engage our previously held beliefs or preferences, we do not let our future goals get in the way of our being and we simply are. It is this preparation and return to what is now, that is vital for the cultivation of belonging. The gate to belonging opens with the key to the present moment.
Where in the time continuum do you belong?
With warm regards,
Nnaumrata Arora Singh
This message from Marilyn Turkovich, Executive Director of the Charter for Compassion, appears in our 02/01/2021 weekly newsletter. To sign up for our newsletter, scroll all the way down to the end of this page to get to the bottom menu, in the newsletter section enter your email address and click on subscribe.